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And don’t forget to pack the Collected Short Stories by Lorrie Moore: perfect holiday reading!
If you love Venice and/or gossipy, insider tales, the short stories by Jane Turner Rylands (a controversial lady, herself) are good fun. Featuring thinly disguised portraits of real people and events, it presents a cynical and wicked — but often genuinely touching — view of that most mysterious and sordid of cities. The first book is, *Venetian Stories*, and the second, which neatly picks up the threads of the stories woven in the first book, is, *Across the Bridge of Sighs*.
(For the scoop on the formidable authoress, herself, and her supposed attempts to steal the entire estate of a famous writer, read John Berendt’s gossipy pseudo-expose’, *The City of Falling Angels*.)
Jerzy Kosinski’s “Steps” is a very short, worthwhile read. It’s comprised of a series of vignettes that are loosely associated and may or may not be episodes in a single, unnamed character’s life. The novella is extremely erotic and sexual as well as violent, bizarre, and moving. I’ve read it 4 times and it never ceases to amaze me, especially the series of stories involving the man escaping a socialist regime in Eastern Europe (which Kosinski did himself), and the series involving the car racing at the end.
I am fining the next Fantastic Man, the next time he describes something as ‘super’ anything. It’s becoming superlative…(excessive)
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